The first section of my testimony here was written in the summer of 2015; the last section is a newer version I added because of feedback on Facebook; please feel free to share with friends to help people come to know Jesus and His wonderful salvation:

    I was born and raised in Stockton, Missouri.  My parents did not attend church, but I had both of them in my life as a child.  At the age of 14 I started to drink alcohol whenever possible.  At the age of 16 I ended up in Juvenile Detention for breaking car windows out of various cars in town.  This was my first experience with being incarcerated, an I did not like it at all...but I knew nothing about the Jesus who came to save me from sin's power.
    A long story short, I was in and out of jails in Missouri and Kansas, alcohol treatment centers 9 times, in and out of prison three times in 5 different Missouri prisons, and spent a total of about four-and-a-half years incarcerated by the time I was 24 years old.  I was bound by alcohol, but really my problem was that sin was my master and I needed Jesus.  The reason I kept getting DWIs etc, was because I needed salvation, not because I just needed to quit drinking.
    In 1997, I was serving a 25 month stint in prison, and was feeling hopeless.  I truly felt like I may just be destined to spend the rest of my life in prison.  It was about this time that I ran into a fellow inmate that truly reflected Jesus...even though I did not know that was what I liked about him.  I asked him when church was, and started to attend.  Within a few short weeks, I was asking Jesus to forgive me and save me.  I was then born again in April 1997, in prison, in Maryville, Missouri.
    Since that time, I was released in December, 1997, met my wife the same month, and was married in September 1998.  I applied to Bible college at CBC in Springfield, Missouri and was accepted.  I started in January 1999, and graduated in December 2002.  I later received a Master's Degree from AGTS in Springfield, Missouri (in 2007), and have pastored now for about 13 years.  ALL the glory goes to GOD!
The following testimonial was written on April 15th, 2016.  I received much feedback on Facebook through this so I have added it here; please share this link/testimony on Facebook, etc, so people can read about how JESUS changes those who trust Him...especially if you have friends on Facebook that are in the same predicament I was, or just need to be saved etc:

"19 years ago today I was sitting in prison for the third time and feeling hopeless. I started to think about God more and more and decided to go to a church service where I heard the truth from the Bible. I told God, "If You are real, please help me, please show me." What He did was convict me of my sins, and reveal to me His great love for me in sending His Son to die on the cross for my sins to save me from satan's bondage, and my rebellion. I believed the truth, asked Him to forgive me and save me, and I was born again. I am more grateful to God for this than I am for any other thing. I love Him more than anything and I'm so thankful for His salvation and for all the things He's done in my life...saving me from alcohol, violence, and total foolishness/letting me be a dad/husband/pastor. Praise Jesus because He really is alive and He truly saves. My best birthday is today... the day I was born again 19 years ago. If you have not been truly saved/born again, if you have not come to really know Jesus Christ, come to Him and be real with Him from your heart and He will save you. Believe that He died for you, to save you from your sins and the devil's lies. Ask Jesus to forgive you, believe that He was raised from the dead to give you new life, and He will completely save you from the inside out."
                                Kenny Batson
                                Pastor of Grace Fellowship Int
                                El Dorado Springs, Missouri